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Mid-fat AM ski

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hey all -

I'm new to this forum but not new to skiing. I'm 5' 10", 170lbs., 31 years old, have been skiing anywhere from 5-20 days a season since I was 4, and consider myself a pretty good skier. I do most of my skiing at Mammoth in California and can ski almost anything there. I spend equal time on groomers, steeps, and between the trees, but no true backcountry stuff.

I made my last ski purchase in 2004 - Atomic Metron m:10 - and I think it's about time for me to upgrade, but am willing to wait until after the season to grab a good close out kind of deal.

My question to you all is this: what should I demo this year? I've gotten one recommendation from a local shop - the Blizzard Bonafide. I'm open to stuff in this category or something else with good reasoning behind it. Really want to get this purchase right, since I don't buy new skis that often (MTB is my year round passion and most of my money goes there) and won't likely make another purchase for another 8-10 years or so. Also interested in binding recommendations. My boots fit me like a glove, so I'm good there.

Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 15
Do you like snappy and smaller turn radii on groomers at the expense of stability and predictability in funkier snow? You say midfat AM ski - does this mean you have a different ski for uncut powder days? Maybe give us a better idea of the kinds of conditions you'll be skiing these in?
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
This will be my one-ski quiver. My 74mm waisted skis are awesome on the groomers, but leave a lot on the table when it comes to plowing through rough, heavy, cut up, 3-4 day old "powder". They also lack stability at speeds. I'm looking to improve both, if possible, and I'm willing to give up a bit of snappiness on the groomers.
post #4 of 15

Going longer will also help in the crud and slop busting capabilities.  A one ski quiver should probably be on the longer side if you're going with a mid fat and shorter side of you're going truly fat.

post #5 of 15
The Bonafide is a good option, but I'd suggest going wider. Keep your 74mm for days it hasn't snowed in a while - bumps/groomers. Mammoth has a lot of windbuff, refills and alpine terrain, so wider can be better out there. I think the Nordica El Capo, Praxis Freeride, or ON3P Vicik would be a good option for you. The Praxis and ON3P will hold up better against the rock damage. I'd also suggest the Cochise, except it lacks some camber, which I really like on a ski like this.
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions. What about length?
post #7 of 15
184-186. Might sound long at first, but they ski shorter than that due to rocker and the longer length will feel better in crud. Give yourself some time to adjust though - don't get frustrated. It will take you a little bit to get used to a bigger ski. If you do end up looking at softer skis, the Vagabond would be a more similar ski than the El Capo.

If you go Praxis or ON3P, spend some time talking to the owners so you get the flex you want. You might want to go softer than stock if you're not very aggressive or you ski a lot of tight trees over the alpine bowls (i.e. Dragon Tail trees).
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Sweet. Thanks again. How about a binding? ~$300ish?
post #9 of 15

kragu, the bonafide is an amazing ski and would certainly be a winner for you as a great all mountain ski.  There are a ton of options in the 100-ish cm waist category, and the Bonafide is certainly one of the best rated.  The Bonafide comes in 180 and 187 lengths -- both could work, but if you have the chance to demo them, then do that.  As a reference, I ski the Atomic Ritual in a 182cm length (160 lbs / 5'8" / "expert") and the length is perfect with the tip and tail rocker.  Until the advent of the early rise/rocker I skied more in the range of 174-176cm.  Here's an article from a year ago that lists some skis in the 98ish width that could be a good starting point for you:


If you're looking at price, then our local shop Second Track Sports here in Utah has the Fischer 98 NEW at the excellent price of $275 and it comes in a 186cm length (  As for bindings, it's personal preference, but I really like the Rossi Axial 120 and have the Rossi bindings on all my skis except for my AT setups.


Good luck in your search.  Luckily, there are a lot of great choices out's really a bit overwhelming.  If you want to, then check out my site which lists a lot of various places to get gear at great prices --


Again, Good luck and pray for more snow!  



post #10 of 15
Go with whatever you can find a deal on for your DIN setting +2-4. Today's bindings are all pretty good. Though, if you go Salomon, don't go with the Z series, go Driver/STH. I think 4FRNT Deadbolts and Head/Tyrolia Peak are on closeout right now and are great bindings.
post #11 of 15

kragu, the Bonafide, with 2 sheets of metal, is a pretty burly ski.  They will definitely slice through crud like butter and if you are an agressive skier it could be a really good fit.  However, you may want to also look at skis without the metal.  I am about your same size (a couple inches taller and a couple decades older) and I plan on demoing the following this year; Atomic Theory, Salomon Q98, Line Sick Day 95.  All of these are 95-97 waist and get pretty good reviews all over the mountain.  


I ski in Tahoe and haven't ever been to Mammoth, but I'm sure there are shops there that demo skis.  Most will allow you to swap out as much as you like and will apply the demo price to any purchase you make.  Check out  They have a pretty good selection of demo skis.  If you decide to buy the demo ski you are on, it will come with a binding already mounted.  Although, since it will be a demo binding, it may be a tad heavier.

post #12 of 15

@5'10" upper 177-181..95-100ish underfoot is best for the conditions we have here in the Sierras/Mammoth region. Bonafide has become the reference ski in this category with finesse/power options on either end and a good place to start. 

post #13 of 15

It's not because your boots fits you like a glove that they are the boots for you...

post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 

Anyone care to offer their thoughts on the Armada TST for my purposes?

post #15 of 15
Originally Posted by kragu View Post

Anyone care to offer their thoughts on the Armada TST for my purposes?

Sure. No.

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